Jan 12, 2017
Cass Midgley and Dr. Bob Pondillo interview Kate. She came out as an ex-Christian less than a year ago to a select few family and friends. Kate is a 21 year old nursing student. Her husband is still a believer, and his devout Christian parents still don’t know about her deconversion so we hide her identity on this episode.
Life is the great teacher. It is teaching us things about itself, the natural world and ourselves. I know it’s debatable whether there actually is something called the self. But somebody is listening to the teacher (in this case, Life) and deciding what to believe and keep, or not believe and reject. For example, you’re a high school student and you graduate. One lesson you could hear is, “Hey, I accomplished something. I finished something I started. I hated most of it, but I got through it. That says something about me. It means I’ve got what it takes. That I showed perseverance, tenacity, and discipline.” All our lives we’re doing things that were successes or failures, we overcame it or it kicked our ass, they loved me or they hated me, etc. All the while we’re building a self-image. We’re tweaking our self-esteem and self-respect. We discovering that we’re not umbilically connected to Mommy anymore, that we don’t need her teat, and that I’m equipped, capable, and free to take on the real world. This is a part of becoming an adult. But do you know who misses out on this type of learning? this wonderful rite of passage? whose maturation is impaired they walk around handicapped until they can do some hard, painful repair work on their psyche? Christians who were sheltered and married young. Any one of those three things will handicap your personal maturation: Christianity, being spoiled or over sheltered, and marrying young. And you are FUCKED. You hear all your life that you are inherently sinful, your heart is deceitful and wicked and beyond cure, that without God you can do nothing, that without Jesus in your heart you deserve eternal torture. So you’re brainwashed into having no self-respect or identity. Christianity is even harder on women. You are to submit to your husbands, you’re a second-class citizen because Eve is blamed for the Fall, you are to be silent in church, you’re to cover your head in shame and hide your glory. Secondly, your parents may buy you everything, or rescue you from every peril, or hide sexuality or science from you so that you when finally learn the truth you are cold-cocked by it. And lastly, if you went straight from your parent’s arms to your lover’s and never got a chance to try your wings, get your own apartment, move to a strange city, or bear responsibilities like a job or car payment or doing your own taxes, this is another way in which you haven’t had the opportunity to build your own confidence and self-esteem.
These are ways that the ex-Christian’s life are complicated.
There’s a fourth thing I want to highlight that is not associated
with Christianity directly, although I think it could be argued
that western civilization is so shaped by Christianity that it’s
culpable even in this: and that’s the codependency in pop music.
Let me play a medley of codependent songs. I must warn you, though,
if you were ever a pastor’s wife this is definitely going to
trigger your PTSD. I kid you not. Listen how these “lovers” put too
much responsibility and cede too much power to another human
The sooner one learns one’s competence, the sooner one gets out from under untrue narratives that stunt one’s growth and arrest one’s development, the sooner one believes in one’s self—that you’re brave, powerful, independent or interdependent, you’ve shored up your self-respect with true beliefs about yourself, you feel that you have a voice, that your thoughts and feelings matter, the less pain and suffering you’re going to incur when life’s harshness comes at you. You have to have agency to say to what is.
We taped this conversation on December 11th, 2016. We interview people you don’t know, about a subject no one wants to talk about. We hope to encourage people in the process of deconstructing their faith and help curb the loneliness that accompanies it. We think the world is a better place when more people live by sight, not by faith. Please subscribe to our podcast, and leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts. Our show is available on most podcast platforms. Also, you can support us monetarily in two easy ways: you can pledge one dollar per episode through Patreon; that’s www.patreon.com/eapodcast, or leave a lump-sum donation through PayPal at our website, www.everyonesagnostic.com. The smallest contribution is greatly appreciated.
"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" intro by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU
Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack Johnson
The segue music is on this episode performed by Sam Maher on a handpan in the NYC subway.
Thanks for listening and be a yes-sayer to what is.